• Top 10 Key Research Findings on Substance Abuse in 2011

    While substance abuse is an observable behavior, researchers need to use several different techniques to gather information needed for substance abuse research. These methods are used to draw a conclusion to a question that must offer validity and reliability.

    Below is a list of substance abuse research findings of 2011:

    1. Moderate Alcohol Drinking Linked to Breast Cancer Risk

    A Harvard Medical School study involving more than 100,000 women was the first to discover a link between breast cancer and moderate drinking.  Heavy drinking, on the other hand, has long been linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

    2. Heavy Meth and Marijuana Users Risk Schizophrenia

    Research revealed that heavy methamphetamine and marijuana users are nine times more likely to develop schizophrenia, compared to non-users. Use of meth and marijuana was linked to three times the risk of developing schizophrenia than with users of cocaine, opioids and alcohol.

    3. Alcohol Dependence More Likely Among Mentally Ill

    A nationwide government survey found that adults with mental disorders are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent. The more severe the mental illness, the greater the risk of becoming an alcoholic. In the US, 9.6% of adults with mental health disorders are alcohol dependent.

    4. The Average Length of an Addiction’s “Lifetime”

    Depending on the addiction, the period from when an addiction begins until it gets bad enough for the person to decide to get help can widely vary.  According to a government survey, addiction to alcohol lasts the longest and addiction to prescription drugs lasts the shortest time.

    5. Binge Drinking Affects Verbal Learning Skills

    Research showed that alcohol binge drinkers (five or more drinks per session) run the risk of affecting their verbal declarative memory.   Interestingly, the study found no such impairment of visual-learning skills.

    6. Science Discovers How Alcoholic Blackouts Happen

    Scientists have found that a chemical reaction in the brain actually blocks its ability to learn and form new memories when alcoholics have had too much drink.  The brain still processes the information, but it is no longer capable of forming memories of it.

    7. Alcohol Causes Sleep Disruption that is More Likely to Occur in Women than in Men

    Scientists have found that sleep disturbance is more evident to women than it is to men. The way women metabolize alcohol is believed to be the cause.

    8. Helping Others Improves Own Recovery

    A study at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine reviewed several published research papers supporting the idea that helping others helps alcoholics and addicts become and stay sober. The scientists refer to it as the “helper therapy principle” – an approach that when someone helps another person with a similar condition they also help themselves.

    9. Heavy Drinking Increases Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

    A review of 14 research studies found that binge drinking and heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of atrial fibrillation.

    10. Drinking with Kids Can Backfire on Parents

    A study of 1,900 teenagers revealed that kids who are allowed to drink, even with adult supervision, are more likely to develop alcohol-related problems than peers who do not drink early in life.




    Categories: Substance Abuse

    Tags: , ,

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *